The Blue guarri is an evergreen tree or shrub characterised with a dense irregular canopy of blue green foliage. This tree either grows as a single-stemmed small tree or a multi-stemmed shrub, it is common on exposed rocky areas and can reach a mature height of 5m in the Highveld. It is found growing naturally throughout the country except the desert on the West and Northern Mpumalanga.
The bark is smooth and rusty brown in young branches and trees becoming very rough and grey to dark brown as the tree grows older. The blue-green leathery leaves are smooth and fire-resistant, fresh branches are used to beat out veld fires. Due to the leaf structure and arrangement, Euclea crispa is often confused with Buddleja saligna and Olea europaea subsp africana. Male and female flowers are borne on separate trees, the whitish green to yellow bell-shaped flowers produced by this tree from spring to summer attract bees with their sweet scent. After flowering, Euclea crispa produces black fruits that are edible to humans, birds and mammals.
Euclea crispa makes an effective screen and wind break and can be used to create protective shelter for less hardy species. This tree is neat and is ideal for small gardens. It is resistant to frost, fast-growing and is suitable for bonsai.